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This article reports the results of an investigation of the level of mental representation in which college students operate regarding the physical concept of field, particularly in the domain of electromagnetism, when solving problems and questions. Fifty sophomore engineering students were observed during two semesters regarding the level of mental representations they used when solving problems and questions proposed as instructional tasks. Research findings suggest that students work mostly with propositions not related or interpreted with respect to mental models. The theoretical basis of the project stems from John-Laird's theory of mental representations, according to which there are at least three major kinds of such representations: mental models, propositions and images.
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